Joe Wilson “was a dagger aimed at the heart of WHIG and its disinformation campaign. Exactly who tried to silence him and how is what Mr. Fitzgerald presumably will tell us.”

NYT columnist Frank Rich, as usual, is spot on — I’m beginning to think of him as a national journalistic treasure — beginning with the title of today’s piece, “It’s Bush-Cheney, Not Rove-Libby” (sub. only, via Daou Report).

It didn’t matter at all to the WHIGs that their sales points and marketing techniques to sell the Iraq war were weak, dishonest, even laughable to anyone in the know. Or that real people would die! No matter. Make the sale.

Blake [Alec Baldwin, mocking]: “The leads are weak.”
The fucking leads are weak? You’re weak.
   — Glengarry Glen Ross, IMDb

The WHIGs’ marketing campaign for war is weak? No matter. Close the sale! Towards the end, Rich writes:

It’s long been my hunch that the WHIG-ites were at their most brazen (and, in legal terms, reckless) during the many months that preceded the appointment of Mr. Fitzgerald as special counsel. When Mr. Rove was asked on camera by ABC News in September 2003 if he had any knowledge of the Valerie Wilson leak and said no, it was only hours before the Justice Department would open its first leak investigation. When Scott McClellan later declared that he had been personally assured by Mr. Rove and Mr. Libby that they were “not involved” with the leak, the case was still in the safe hands of the attorney general then, John Ashcroft, himself a three-time Rove client in past political campaigns. Though Mr. Rove may be known as “Bush’s brain,” he wasn’t smart enough to anticipate that Justice Department career employees would eventually pressure Mr. Ashcroft to recuse himself because of this conflict of interest, clearing the way for an outside prosecutor as independent as Mr. Fitzgerald. (Emphasis mine.)

See, this is usually how dishonest salespeople trip themselves up: They’re so narcissistic and greedy, that they themselves — like their hapless sucker clients — sometimes fail to read the small print.

For a backgrounder snapshot of every member of WHIG, the bastards who sold the Iraq war to the people, the media, and Congress — with photo, infamous quotes, and “dish” — visit my “Glenngarry Glenn Rove.”

P.S. Frank Rich’s fine work is now subscription-only but you can read long excerpts at AfterDowningStreet.

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